Meet the Executive Team

​​​​​​​​​​​Robert Taylor​
Deputy Secretary of State

Robert Taylor, Deputy Secretary of State
​​As Deputy, Robert oversees the day-to-day operations of the business divisions under Secretary Brown’s responsibility: Audits, Corporation, Elections, and State Archives. Having served as the Secretary of the Senate for the Oregon Legislature for three years, he’s uniquely qualified at consensus-building and business streamlining. He received his law degree from Willamette University and Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in Rhode Island. Robert practiced law at a Portland firm, but it was a stint at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C., that sparked his passion for public service. A native Oregonian and son of Grants Pass, Robert enjoys coaching his son's athletic teams, chasing his baby daughter around the house, and catching up with his wife between carpools.​


Gina Zejdlik​
Chief of Staff

Gina Zejdlik, Legislative Director and Senior Policy Advisor
​​Gina is Secretary Brown’s liaison to the Legislature. She joined the executive staff after having served as Oregon Deputy Legislative Counsel since 2006. As counsel, she advised members of the Legislative Assembly on legal issues and drafted bills. Her focus: Government ethics, higher education and elections law. Gina earned her law degree from the University of Notre Dame after graduating f​rom the University of Washington with a Bachelors of Arts. Gina not only runs the Secretary's policymaking operation, she's an avid fitness runner who's completed the Hood to Coast Relay and many other road races.

Rachele Altman​
Legislative Director

Rachele works with the Chief of Staff to draft and track legislation and coordinate advocacy efforts. She also advises the Secretary and the Chief of Staff on policy and legislative issues affecting the Office of the Secretary of State.  Rachele joined the executive staff after completing a legislative fellowship in the office of U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon.  Rachele earned her law degree from the George Washington University Law School after graduating from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. As a public servant, Rachele believes in the power of the people. She likes to exercise another kind of “people power” while hiking and biking through the cityscapes and landscapes of the Beaver State.

​​​​​Tony Green
Communications Director

Tony Green, Communications Director

Tony is the media contact​ for the Secretary of State. He joined the agency in January 2013 after working in the Chief Operating Officer's office and the Oregon Department of Justice. For nearly 22 years he reported for The Oregonian newspaper, covering legal issues, politics and crime. In his free time, Tony writes true crime songs and is an unapologetic bicyclist. He earned a Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School, with a Bachelors of Arts in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University.


Policy Advisor and Voter Engagement Advocate​

Josh Goldberg, Policy Assistant

Fondly referred to around the office as "the Josh of all trades," Josh coordinates legislative efforts and assists with agency operations. Before joining the Secretary of State's office in 2010, he worked for Winning Mark, a premiere communications firm in Portland, and participated in the Bus Project's PolitiCorps Fellowship. He earned his Bachelors of Arts from Williams College in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies.





​​​​​​​​​​Jacqueline Sowell​
Social Media and Web Strategist

Jacqueline Sowell, Social Media and Web Strategist
​​With a steady hand for strategy, Jacqueline guides the agency’s Web presence, while keeping one eye on the rapidly changing digital horizon. A number of Secretary of State online applications help citizens and businesses get things done; in her role, Jacqueline helps ensure the best user experience. A member of the staff since 2011, she’s served in both the public and private sectors, teaching at universities in California and Washington and working in high tech. Jacqueline holds a Masters of Arts from the University of California at Irvine and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz, with certifications in human-computer interaction, user experience design and product marketing. She gets out at every opportunity to kayak Oregon's gorgeous rivers and ski its backcountry trails.


​​​​​​​​Gary Bl​ackmer
Director, Audits Division

Gary Blackmer, Audits Division Director
​​Gary is responsible for all state audits and auditors. He began working for the Office of the Secretary of State in 2009, coming from a 10-year career as city auditor for Portland, and, before that, as an auditor for Multnomah County. Gary attended Portland State University and Northern Illinois University. A dedicated angler, you might spot him on the weekend casting a fly on the Deschutes. 




Jeff Morgan
Director, Business Services Division

Jeff Morgan, Business Services Division Director
​​Jeff manages the business and administrative support center for the agency. This includes budgeting, purchasing, safety and risk management, and sales of Secretary of State publications. With over 33 years in public service, most with the State of Oregon, Jeff has filled roles in five state agencies. In addition to a degree from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Jeff is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer and Certified Professional Public Buyer. He's a guitarist and rocks a mean Les Paul. 




​​​​​​Peter Threlkel
Director, Corporation Division

Peter Threlkel, Corporation Division Director

As director, Peter leads the formation of business in our state. He manages the registration of businesses for the Secretary of State. A strategic thinker and tireless doer, Peter was an important force behind Business Xpress, Oregon’s all-in-one business portal. Prior to entering Oregon public service, he held leadership positions with U.S. Bank. While Peter has a well-earned reputation as a deep thinker, he’s also a deep diver: He enjoys scuba diving and has explored reefs in Hawaii, Mexico and the Northwest. He earned a Certificate of Public Management/Public Administration from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. Peter has a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Western Oregon University.​


Ruth Miles
Small Business Advocate, Office of the Secretary of State

Ruth Miles, Small Business Advocate, Corporation Division

Ruth works collaboratively with entrepreneurs and state agencies to help streamline and improve Oregon’s business climate. She brings a unique combination of public and private sector experience to her work in the Secretary’s Office of Small Business Assistance. With 18 years of experience running small businesses, Ruth understands first-hand the challenges that entrepreneurs face. An avid kayaker, she comes to the Secretary of State after nine years in the legislative branch, where she helped constituents navigate the shifting waters and complexities of state government.


Jim Willi​​​​​​​​​​​​ams
Director, Elections Division​

Jim ensures that uniform election standards are carried out across Oregon. He’s in charge of the state initiative and referendum process and oversees campaign finance reporting. Jim came to the Secretary of State in late 2013 from Norman, Okla., where he served as executive secretary of the Cleveland County Election Board. With 21 years of experience, he understands the administration of voting from both the public and private sector perspectives, having worked for the Denver Elections Division as well as Automated Elections Services, a New Mexico company that provides elections system support. A nationally Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA), Jim earned his bachelor’s in mass communications and journalism from Southern Nazarene University. Crimson and cream are Jim’s favorite colors – just like you’d expect of a huge fan of Oklahoma college ball.​


Jackie Steffens​ 
Director, Human Resources Division

Jackie Steffens, Human Resources Division Director
​​Jackie provides leadership in developing and executing human resources strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the agency, specifically in the areas of talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development. During her 25 years in the human resources field, she’s worked for the Oregon Department of Justice, Pitney Bowes and General Electric. Jackie has earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Her dog, Myles, a Hungarian Vizsla, is the toast of her neighborhood.



Chris Molin​​
Director, Information Services Division

Chris Molin, Information Services Division Director

The agency’s Chief Information Officer, Chris manages all information technology resources by providing leadership and support to Secretary of State divisions in the planning, development, functionality, and maintenance of networks, computing resources, and Web applications. He draws on over 20 years of experience implementing and managing enterprise and integrated solutions in both the public sector (SoS, U.S. Air Force) and private sector (SAIC). The employees under Chris’s direction provide an array of technical services, including project management, software development, and network, database and computer systems administration and support. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management and an Associate of Arts in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. After a long workday in the digital domain, Chris retreats to his den to unwind, analog style, by spinning vinyl records on his vintage stereo. Family time is spent exploring Oregon’s majestic natural beauty.


​​​​​​Mary Beth Herkert
Director, State Archives Division

As State Archivist, Mary Beth is in charge of records management and reference services for the state. The Oregon Administrative Rules – the rules all agencies must abide by – are part of her division’s portfolio, and she oversees publication of the Blue Book, the state directory and almanac. Mary Beth was appointed State Archivist in 2006 after serving in the Archives Division for many years. She holds a master’s in history from the State University of New York at Albany and is a Certified Records Manager. Born and raised in Buffalo, Mary Beth is a die-hard Bills fan who hopes to see the team win the Super Bowl in her lifetime.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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